Author Topic: Hundreds of Cops Turn Their Back on de Blasio at NYPD Officer's Funeral  (Read 1079 times)

Offline KidKamikaze10

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Hundreds of police officers turned their backs on a screen showing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he spoke at the funeral of one of two officers killed last week in what has been called an "assassination."

The funeral at the Christ Tabernacle Church, in the Glendale neighborhood of Queens, was broadcast to thousands of police who gathered outside.

The killing of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu came amid heightened tensions between the police and the mayor over what some police saw as a lack of support for the force.

The atmosphere was mostly respectful, but there were scattered signs of protest even before the police officers action when the mayor spoke.


In his speech, the mayor seemed to try to reach out to police, honoring not only Ramos, but the entire NYPD.

After directing his remarks to the Ramos family, he said he wanted to "extend my condolences to another family -- the family of the NYPD -- that is hurting so deeply right now."

The night after Ramos and Liu were shot, officers gathered at the hospital where they had been taken turned teir backs on de Blasio when he arrived.

De Blasio created controversy with his response to demonstrations about police relations with minorities, after a grand jury declined to indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died after he was put in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes.

The mayor, whose wife is black, said he has spoken to his mixed race teen son about how he should act if he is stopped by police.

In speaking about protesters who were arrested and charged with assaulting police during a demonstration in New York, de Blasio used the word "allegedly," which some in the NYPD seemed to take as a slight.

Patrolmens Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch and de Blasio have been locked in a public battle over treatment of officers following the grand jury's decision.

The week before the shooting of Ramos and Liu, the PBA leader suggested police officers sign a petition demanding that the mayor not attend their funerals should they die on the job.

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Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Hundreds of Cops Turn Their Back on de Blasio at NYPD Officer's Funeral
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 05:38:25 pm »
The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

When New York City Police Walk Off the Job
By THE EDITORIAL BOARDDEC. 30, 2014

Bill de Blasio met Tuesday with police union leaders. Credit Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
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Many members of the New York Police Department are furious at Mayor Bill de Blasio and, by extension, the city that elected him. They have expressed this anger with a solidarity tantrum, repeatedly turning their backs to show their collective contempt. But now they seem to have taken their bitterness to a new and dangerous level — by walking off the job.

The New York Post on Tuesday reported, and city officials confirmed, that officers are essentially abandoning enforcement of low-level offenses. According to data The Post cited for the week starting Dec. 22 — two days after two officers were shot and killed on a Brooklyn street — traffic citations had fallen by 94 percent over the same period last year, summonses for offenses like public drinking and urination were down 94 percent, parking violations were down 92 percent, and drug arrests by the Organized Crime Control Bureau were down 84 percent.

The data cover only a week, and the reasons for the plunge are not entirely clear. But it is so steep and sudden as to suggest a dangerous, deplorable escalation of the police confrontation with the de Blasio administration. Even considering the heightened tensions surrounding the officers’ deaths and pending labor negotiations — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has no contract, and its leader, Patrick Lynch, has been the most strident in attacking Mr. de Blasio, calling him a bloody accomplice to the officers’ murder — this action is repugnant and inexcusable. It amounts to a public act of extortion by the police.

And for what?

Let’s review the actions that Mr. de Blasio’s harshest critics say have driven the police to such extremes.

1. He campaigned on ending the unconstitutional use of “stop-and-frisk” tactics, which victimized hundreds of thousands of innocent young black and Latino men.

2. He called for creating an inspector general for the department and ending racial profiling.

3. After Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, was killed by a swarm of cops on Staten Island, he convened a meeting with the police commissioner, William Bratton, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, giving Mr. Sharpton greater prominence than police defenders thought he should have had because Mr. Sharpton is a firebrand with an unsavory past.

4. He said after the Garner killing that he had told his biracial son, Dante, to “take special care” in encounters with the police.

5. He generally condoned the peaceful protests for police reform — while condemning those who incited or committed violence — and cited a tagline of the movement: “Black lives matter.”

The list of grievances adds up to very little, unless you look at it through the magnifying lens of resentment fomented by union bosses and right-wing commentators. The falling murder rate, the increased resources for the department, the end of quota-based policing, which the police union despised, the mayor’s commitment to “broken-windows” policing — none of that matters, because many cops have latched on to the narrative that they are hated, with the mayor orchestrating the hate.

It’s a false narrative. Mr. de Blasio was elected by a wide margin on a promise to reform the policing excesses that were found unconstitutional by a federal court. He hired a proven reformer, Mr. Bratton, who had achieved with the Los Angeles Police Department what needs doing in New York. The furor that has gripped the city since the Garner killing has been a complicated mess. But what New Yorkers expect of the Police Department is simple:

1. Don’t violate the Constitution.

2. Don’t kill unarmed people.

To that we can add:

3. Do your jobs. The police are sworn public servants, and refusing to work violates their oath to serve and protect. Mr. Bratton should hold his commanders and supervisors responsible, and turn this insubordination around.

Mr. de Blasio has a responsibility to lead the city out of this impasse, and to his credit has avoided inflaming the situation with hasty or hostile words. But it’s the Police Department that needs to police itself. Rank-and-file officers deserve a department they can be proud of, not the insular, defiant, toxically politicized constituency that Mr. Lynch seems to want to lead.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Hundreds of Cops Turn Their Back on de Blasio at NYPD Officer's Funeral
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2015, 08:34:29 am »
The NYPD's 'Work Stoppage' Is Surreal
In an alternate universe, the New York Police might have just solved the national community-policing controversy.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attends the NYPD graduation ceremony earlier this week.
BY MATT TAIBBI | December 31, 2014
Brace yourselves for a weird night. There might be a little extra drama when the ball drops in Times Square, thanks to one of the more confusing political protests in recent memory.

On a night when more than a million potentially lawbreaking, probably tipsy revelers will be crowding the most densely-populated city blocks in America, all eyes will be on the city cops stuck with holiday duty.

Why? Because the New York City Police are in the middle of a slowdown. The New York Post is going so far as to call it a "virtual work stoppage."

Furious at embattled mayor Bill de Blasio, and at what Police Benevolent Association chief Patrick Lynch calls a "hostile anti-police environment in the city," the local officers are simply refusing to arrest or ticket people for minor offenses – such arrests have dropped off a staggering 94 percent, with overall arrests plunging 66 percent.

If you're wondering exactly what that means, the Post is reporting that the protesting police have decided to make arrests "only when they have to." (Let that sink in for a moment. Seriously, take 10 or 15 seconds).

Substantively that mostly means a steep drop-off in parking tickets, but also a major drop in tickets for quality-of-life offenses like carrying open containers of alcohol or public urination.

My first response to this news was confusion. I get why the police are protesting – they're pissed at Mayor de Blasio, and more on that in a minute – but this sort of "protest" pulls this story out of the standard left-right culture war script it had been following and into surreal territory.

I don't know any police officer anywhere who would refuse to arrest a truly dangerous criminal as part of a PBA-led political gambit. So the essence of this protest seems now to be about trying to hit de Blasio where it hurts, i.e. in the budget, without actually endangering the public.

So this police protest, unwittingly, is leading to the exposure of the very policies that anger so many different constituencies about modern law-enforcement tactics.

First, it shines a light on the use of police officers to make up for tax shortfalls using ticket and citation revenue. Then there's the related (and significantly more important) issue of forcing police to make thousands of arrests and issue hundreds of thousands of summonses when they don't "have to."

It's incredibly ironic that the police have chosen to abandon quality-of-life actions like public urination tickets and open-container violations, because it's precisely these types of interactions that are at the heart of the Broken Windows polices that so infuriate residents of so-called "hot spot" neighborhoods.

In an alternate universe where this pseudo-strike wasn't the latest sortie in a standard-issue right-versus left political showdown, one could imagine this protest as a progressive or even a libertarian strike, in which police refused to work as backdoor tax-collectors and/or implement Minority Report-style pre-emptive policing policies, which is what a lot of these Broken Windows-type arrests amount to.

But that's not what's going on here. As far as I can tell, there's nothing enlightened about this slowdown, although I'm sure there are thousands of cops who are more than happy to get a break from Broken Windows policing.

I've met more than a few police in the last few years who've complained vigorously about things like the "empty the pad" policies in some precincts, where officers were/are told by superiors to fill predetermined summons quotas every month.

It would be amazing if this NYPD protest somehow brought parties on all sides to a place where we could all agree that policing should just go back to a policy of officers arresting people "when they have to."

Because it's wrong to put law enforcement in the position of having to make up for budget shortfalls with parking tickets, and it's even more wrong to ask its officers to soak already cash-strapped residents of hot spot neighborhoods with mountains of summonses as part of a some stats-based crime-reduction strategy.

Both policies make people pissed off at police for the most basic and understandable of reasons: if you're running into one, there's a pretty good chance you're going to end up opening your wallet.

Your average summons for a QOL offense costs more than an ordinary working person makes in a day driving a bus, waiting tables, or sweeping floors. So every time you nail somebody, you're literally ruining their whole day.

If I were a police officer, I'd hate to be taking money from people all day long, too. Christ, that's worse than being a dentist. So under normal circumstances, this slowdown wouldn't just make sense, it would be heroic.

Unfortunately, this protest is not about police refusing to shake people down for money on principle.

For one thing, it's simply another public union using its essential services leverage to hold the executive (and by extension, the taxpayer) hostage in a negotiation. In this case the public union doesn't want higher pay or better benefits (in which case it wouldn't have the support from the political right it has now – just the opposite), it merely wants "support" from the Mayor.

On another level, however, this is just the latest salvo in an ongoing and increasingly vicious culture-war mess that is showing no signs of abating.

Most everyone across the country knows the background by now. The police in New York are justifiably furious about the Saturday, December 20th ambush murder/assassination of two of their officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, at the hands of a rampage-killer from Baltimore named Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

Brinsley, who shot his girlfriend and promised on Instagram to put "wings on pigs" before coming to New York and doing the evil deed, had cited the killing of Eric Garner in his rants, saying among other things, "They took 1 of ours…let's take 2 of theirs."

According to the transitive theory of culpability so popular in our left-right media echo chamber, Brinsley's monstrous act put de Blasio in the political jackpot, since both had expressed dismay about the death of Garner, an African-American man from Staten Island who died this past summer in a struggle with police over a 75-cent cigarette.

De Blasio of course never urged anyone to put "wings on pigs." And his comment about the actual grand jury decision – that it was something "many in our city did not want" – was really just a simple statement of fact.

But de Blasio also clumsily personalized the incident, talking about his own half-black son Dante, saying that he and his wife Chirlane had had to "talk to Dante. . .about the dangers that he may face." Then he added, "It should be self-evident, but our history requires us to say that black lives matter."

As maximally uncontroversial as that sounds, the local tabloids went nuts over de Blasio's remarks, bashing the boss of the nation's biggest police force for quoting a globally-surging protest hashtag and talking about how he has to teach his own son to be wary of police.

And then Ramos and Liu were murdered in a horrible tragedy that will have lasting implications for people on all sides of the political spectrum.

The thing is, there are really two things going on here. One is an ongoing bitter argument about race and blame that won't be resolved in this country anytime soon, if ever. Dig a millimeter under the surface of the Garner case, Ferguson, the Liu-Ramos murders, and you'll find vicious race-soaked debates about who's to blame for urban poverty, black crime, police violence, immigration, overloaded prisons and a dozen other nightmare issues.

But the other thing is a highly specific debate over a very resolvable controversy not about police as people, but about how police are deployed. Most people, and police most of all, agree that the best use of police officers is police work. They shouldn't be collecting backdoor taxes because politicians are too cowardly to raise them, and they shouldn't be pre-emptively busting people in poor neighborhoods because voters don't have the patience to figure out some other way to deal with our dying cities.

This police protest, ironically, could have shined a light on all of that. Instead, it's just more fodder for our ongoing hate-a-thon. Happy New Year, America.



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-nypds-work-stoppage-is-surreal-20141231#ixzz3NaWwazEc
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